Three Los Angeles Police Department officers injured during a gun battle with a parolee in Lincoln Heights were recovering Thursday, while an investigation continued into the police operation that led to the gunfire and left the suspect dead.
The deadly confrontation unfolded around 4 p.m. Wednesday when officers from the Hollenbeck Community Police Station arrived at the 3800 block of North Broadway, between Lincoln Park Avenue and Mission Road, regarding a parolee at large.
“During the subsequent investigation, officers came across the individual who refused to comply to the commands, and a request for canine officers was requested from Metropolitan Division,” LAPD Assistant Chief Al Labrada said at a news conference Wednesday night outside LAC+USC Medical Center, where the officers were hospitalized.
With the suspect still refusing to comply, officers eventually “utilized gas to get compliance from the individual,” Labrada said.
Following that deployment of gas, the suspect stepped into an alleyway and opened fire on police sometime after 6 p.m., Labrada said.
Three officers, all from canine units, were struck with the gunfire, and fellow officers pulled them from the line of fire as police shot back at the suspect, authorities said.
The officers were taken to the hospital while a standoff ensued with the suspect, who was holed up inside a lower-level structure, possibly a garage, off the alley. LAPD SWAT officers deployed three robots into the alley to get a look at the suspect, who was ultimately determined to be “down,” and later pronounced dead.
It was not immediately clear if the suspect was fatally shot by police or died of a self-inflicted wound.
Authorities at the hospital eventually indicated that the officers were all in stable condition with injuries initially described as serious, although all are expected to recover.
Mayor Karen Bass went to the hospital Wednesday night and spoke with two of the injured officers.
“I deeply appreciate their service, and let them know that their city stands with them,” Bass said at the news conference outside the hospital. “And I very much look forward to their recovery. My heart goes out to the officers’ families who tonight got the phone call, or the knock on the door, that they dread every day that their loved one go on duty.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that the suspect — who was not immediately identified by police — had a lengthy criminal record. In January, the suspect was charged with battery on a police officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person in connection with an incident late last year, The Times reported, citing court records and law enforcement sources.
The shooting of the officers prompted a massive police presence in the Lincoln Heights area, with at least three SWAT Bearcat vehicles at the scene. Residents in the area were evacuated during the standoff. Video from the scene showed officers escorting a resident with a walker from a home near the shooting scene.
Other residents were warned to stay inside their homes with their doors locked.
A citywide tactical alert extending officers’ shifts was issued following the shooting, but it was canceled when the suspect was determined to be dead.
The officers who were shot are part of the Metropolitan Division, Labrada said. The exact extent of their injuries was not released, but KCAL9 reported that one officer was shot in an arm, one in a leg and one in the stomach.
“The shooting of three @lapdhq officers in Lincoln Heights is a reminder of the risks and sacrifices our police face every day,” Councilman Bob Blumenfield tweeted.
Investigators were still on the scene of the shooting Thursday morning gathering evidence.